Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon is a highly desired Australian wine, defined as much by its mystery as it is by its greatness. The legend of Swiss-born Peter Althaus crafting a cabernet of Bordeaux-like quality, from a part of the world where only the brave persevere with the style, is one of Australia's greatest wine tales.
Rather loose and unsettled at first and in dire need of a serious decant (5+ hours might do it!), Domaine A's 2005 takes an age to compose itself, but when it does, it reveals an immensely deep, alluring fragrance, which manages to balance contradictory scents from both the meaty/leathery and leafy/herbal spectrums. Any indication of 2+ years in new French oak is held well in check, as its nose is best described as autumnal, with murky suggestions of damp, earthy soils and brown leaf litter interspersed by brighter notes of blackcurrants, pepper berries and menthol. The longer it stays in the glass, the more hints of cigar-box, chocolate and spice begin to emerge. Eventually it finds its way into my mouth, where it unfolds a majestic display of black, briary berry flavours gripped by a first-rate tannin structure whose focus and persistence are exquisite. It becomes impressively dry and savoury towards the finish, flaunting a long and layered assortment of cedar, cigar-box and granulated coffee notes that do share space with an edge of aniseed. Unsurprisingly, for a wine of its magnitude, it's completely apparent that its best days are yet to come.
ü+ Patience reveals Domaine A's 2005 to be a beautifully deep, aromatic cabernet blend with the length, complexity and structure to rival Australia's very best. In all respects, it's a seriously confronting wine. Drink 2015-2025.